POWER FOR GOOD

HOW AN OFFSHORE WIND FARM WORKS

 
Wind turbines convert wind energy into electrical energy. The wind makes the rotor turn, which triggers the generator that produces electricity. The rotor has 3 blades. For maximum efficiency, the direction of the blades constantly adapts to the wind.


All of the wind turbines in a farm are linked to an "electrical substation" via submarine cables. The voltage of the energy that the wind turbines produce (66 kV) is converted to match the onshore network voltage (225 kV). The energy is then sent via submarine cable to the public grid, and thus to consumers.

Although wind is an inexhaustible resource, its intensity depends on the location. Therefore identifying sites with good wind exposure is an essential prerequisite for wind farm installation. Wind turbines are designed to constantly adapt to the physical restrictions of a site and to the wind speed, as follows¹:

 

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  • When the wind speed exceeds 11 km/h, the turbine blades start moving.
  • The wind turbine reaches its nominal power (8 MW) starting from a wind speed of 43 km/h.

  • When the wind speed exceeds 108 km/h, the wind turbine stops. We say that the blades are "feathered" so that they stop interacting with the wind, and to avoid any risk of damaging the machine.

 

 

¹These characteristics describe the operation of the AD8-180 wind turbine that ADWEN is offering for the offshore wind project in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc.

how a wind turbine works